View Full Version : Any new Haunts this year

07-19-2007, 08:42 AM
I know that Mr. Haunt, Tha Gallows and myself were all trying to open haunts this year and failed.....did anyone succeed?

07-19-2007, 12:28 PM
I opened a "new' haunt this year. Well kind of. We did our haunt in denmark, WI (a small village) for five years, and now we are located 20 minutes north in Green Bay, WI (200,000 population) much much bigger then denmark. We have a 2 story house we are using in the downtown area. ( 4 miles on the same road from the Terror on the Fox haunted house which some of you saw during the frozen tundra tour. So we are new to this city and new to our building, just not a "new" haunt.


07-19-2007, 02:11 PM
I know that Mr. Haunt, Tha Gallows and myself were all trying to open haunts this year and failed.....did anyone succeed?

You cannot say you failed. You did your best. Consider what you all went through this year as a learning curve and you will become stronger from that. So take everything you've learned and done for this year and make next year happen. You are so close now, don't give up.

Me, well, I thinking about opening my haunt in 2010, that way I have everything the way I want it. Perfectly Scary!


Deathmask Studios
07-19-2007, 02:22 PM
I guess this is the perfect place to put this! Last season I started a brand new haunt that is surely the most unique I've ever been involved in. It's not the theme (although it's very different) but the location and the format that make it special. It was (and will be again) located at G-Star School of the Arts For Motion Picture and Television Broadcasting in West Palm Beach, FL. The facility includes the 20,000 sq. ft. motion picture sound stage that we call home. The project is taught as an extracurricular class beginning with floor plans and working our way up through theme, props and safety to the actual event. I have the priviledge of sharing everything that I've learned in 15 years of Pro Haunting with my very eager students. Last year we began in May and I had over 200 participants - all volunteers! The end result was a very successful haunt with 85 actors and crew, most in their mid-teens, who put every crew I ever had to shame! These kids did not whine, bitch or no-show. The biggest problem we had was heat exhaustion - they just didn't know when to quit! They even put away costumes and picked up the haunt every night! Over and above that, these guys can act! They get it! Many have substantial experience working with directors and producers who have done such modest films as Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Swordfish, Face Off and scores of Indie stuff - that is what the school is all about - hands on production and acting for the students. I can't begin to explain how cool this concept is! The funny thing is that it benefited me too - and not just in that "warm and fuzzy" way. Because many films are done on the lot, I am now involved in SFX for a few feature films including "Hogzilla", a tongue in cheek horror film with Joe Bob Briggs based on the glut of huge hogs being shot in Florida and Georgia (it was a hoot - anybody in the market for a feral hog head the size of a VW? I need my garage back!), some screenplay writing and have just finished participation in a National Geographic Explorer piece that will air in a few months! Point is that the biggest rush of all is watching a new generation jump into haunting with both feet - these guys eat, sleep and drink haunt right now, will continue to do so until November and maybe - just maybe - will go on to include haunting in whatever adventures their lives have in store for them. Face it - a person without a bit of new adventure in his/her life is just one more couch potato! Check out the website - www.xscreamhalloween.com - there is hope for today's youth - really!

07-19-2007, 04:02 PM
Nightmare....thanks for the words of encouragement. I am not going to give up, however the problem I face is location. I must have talked to 100 building owners and not a single one was interested in a short term lease. I even put an ad in the paper and Craigslist looking for a location. I just don't have a solution to this problem besides just keep asking.....As I read posts from other haunters, it feels like this is a universal problem and that the successfull haunters have been "lucky" and solved this dilema by being at the right place at the right time. Considering the need for parking, sprinklers, reasonably easy to find wide open space...the choices are very limited to begin with.

Mr. Haunt
07-19-2007, 05:12 PM
I might be opening a haunt with the help of http://www.hysteriacity.com/. So I thought I wouls share this inforamtion with you.


07-19-2007, 05:22 PM
Thanks...he contacted me as well, I am looking forward to hearing the details. I have never failed at anything before, so this is starting to $#@% me off. The good news is, that with all of the props I have built/bought and the equipment, I am going to have one kick %$# halloween party this year.

Karl Fields
07-19-2007, 10:39 PM
A new haunt? yup.

On the local front we have teamed up with a group of Bay Area haunters to create something we feel is a totally new concept to haunting. We are basically co-oping a huge haunted event on our 45,000 sq ft lot in Fremont. POE Productions will have two haunts, Haunttown Productions, from Fresno, is bringing two attractions in and both Heartstoppers from Sacramento and Rebel Yell from San Jose will be bringing in their shows. So we will have a total of SIX attractions for one entrance price!

The Pirates are also opening a second location, with three attractions, in Santa Cruz, CA, right up on the Boardwalk.

Ought to be a busy season :)

07-20-2007, 01:53 PM
I was looking for people to were opening thier first haunt....bottom line is I'm trying to find out how people overcome the location issue.

07-20-2007, 02:58 PM
Best Advice Is To Not Give Yup. I Finnaly Found My Location By Driving Past An Abandoned House, Going Online To Find Out Who Owned It, Called The Owner And The Next Day I Had The Keys Free Of Charge! It Can Happen Just Stick To Your Guns!


Karl Fields
07-20-2007, 03:07 PM
I guess I thought you would read between the lines :)

Find a local haunt and offer to pay a percentage of their cost in exchange for putting up your haunt and get a percentage of the gate.
This is the first commercial year for two of the haunts joining us.

Find a local attraction (non haunted) that is normally slow in October. Offer to partner with them in a haunt.

Buy a building.

Jim Warfield
07-20-2007, 09:55 PM
Almost all business situations work best when there is a profit, profit for all of those involved.
Get a property owner enthused by sharing the profit.
Having a partner can be tricky or even finally destructive but it could be a beginning.

07-23-2007, 01:58 PM
For many of you, you live in small rural areas. Areas that are on county lines or outside major cities. For the gentleman that spoke of the abandoned house... That is a dream come true but could never work in a large city. Greg and I are both suffering from trying to start a haunt in a large market. We have strict zoning requirements, strict everything! If that scenario was in Salt Lake....

first you would have to make sure that it was zoned to have over 500 people in it in a night. and since the city workers are idiots, they would automatically classify you as a night club or carnival which are both tainted words in the governments eyes.

Next you have to make sure that building is earthquake and structurally sound proof for the Night Club and Carnival building code

then you have to show proper parking lot lighting, amount of stalls, numbers of available toilets, sprinklers for the type of use,

After all the thousands of things that are following the above list then you have to have everyone and their dog come and check it Building inspector, fire marshall, health inspector, everyone! and if you are like Jim Warfield that adds and builds to his house constantly? you have to have them re-check it again after those improvements. And if you don't they can shut you down the first day of business.

there are thousands of restrictions and they are paid to say NO.

I wish that I lived in an area that was easier to work with. Greg has struggled with properties, we had a ton of verbal agreements for properties it was the Cities that closed us down for the year.

One thing that I found worked that could possibly help Greg, tell them a price and then tell them that those figures were based on a certain amount of attendance and if you go over your estimated attendance that they will get a percentage of the profits for their pockets. Sweeten the Deal!! But remember in a cash based business it can be hard to track ALL the money that comes through the door.

Anyway I respect all of you that have started haunts in rural areas and love the fact that they have been so successful for you but for those in major cities you will back me up that its just not as easy as finding a farmer with a barn and move the cows out for a month.

The gallows

07-23-2007, 02:15 PM
I actually didn't even approach many properties because I already knew what the city would say. I met with the fire marshall in one of the cities within the city and he was very accomodating, unfortunately there isn't a building leasing for under $25 per sq ft in the whole city. The good buildings, the one with the right atmoshere, have no parking or no sprinkler or not enough exits or or or or. Short of buying something or getting real lucky...I don't have a game plan at this point.

07-23-2007, 02:16 PM
and by the way...if I could afford to buy something, I would have already done that

Dead End Haunted House
07-26-2007, 07:43 PM
I am opening a new one in utah and am so close to quitting/not making it or whatever, I know it sound kinda late in the game to say that but really i feel like anything can make or break me right now!

07-30-2007, 10:15 AM
I am opening a new one in utah and am so close to quitting/not making it or whatever, I know it sound kinda late in the game to say that but really i feel like anything can make or break me right now!
Hang in there, Dead End! I know it's tough and ooooh, I know how it feels. But, if you can...remember why you ventured into the project in the first place. Oh and take some advice my buddy Midnight Evil keeps giving me....KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) :D

Dead End Haunted House
07-30-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the advice